This crop is good!

Taylor Made Stallions
by OneFastHorse 6 years ago

Jon & Joel recap the stellar stretch runs in the Wood Memorial (G1) and Santa Anita Derby (G1), and tell you how each race shook up the TCI Top 10. They also discuss scenarios with the all-important Kentucky Derby graded earnings standings, and why this 3-year-old crop may be one of the most exciting in years.

Watch it. Comment.

TCI Top Ten with top speed rating

Rank Name Bris Comments
1 Union Rags 103 No longer the clear-cut Kentucky Derby favorite
2 Creative Cause 107 Consistent & classy, but again lacked total focus in stretch of SA Derby
3 Gemologist 104 Undefeated Wood winner has everything needed for Triple Crown success
4 Hansen 105 Needs to be staying on well late in the 1 1/8-mile Blue Grass
5 Bodemeister 102 Now it’s his turn to pass the graded earnings test in Arkansas Derby
6 Alpha 104 Stepped up nicely and passed a needed class test in the Wood
7 Take Charge Indy 109 Took advantage of easy pace to score a breakthrough win in FL Derby
8 Dullahan 98 Sizzling work lessens concern about splint injury; Blue Grass-bound
9 I’ll Have Another 102 Showed that he’s for real with solid SA Derby score
10 El Padrino 111 Slides because he might not get into Derby, but very dangerous if in

Off list: Paynter

through 4/9/2012


  • Joe polander

    Joel – Here is my current top 10. #1 C. Cause. #2 Gemologist #3 IHA #4 Take Charge Indy #5 Daddy Nose Best #6 Union Rags #7 Hansen #8 Went the Day Well #9 alpha #10 Bodemeister. Bodemeister could move several spots up on my list with a win the the AK Derby, but because of graded earnings, he will need a win to get in. Doesn’t look like el Padrino will get in so I don’t have him on my list. I feel Daddy Nose Best and Went The Day Well are 2 horses that will be live longshots in the Derby at big odds. Gotta Love Creative Cause with his liking Churchill Downs and his 1 1/4 pedigree. He has the tactical speed and grinding style to get to the horse that he may be chasing at the top of the long CD stretch. Post Position draw will also be a factor once we know for sure which 20 will run. Gemologist also loves  Churchill and if he draws well and Creative Cause draws poorly then he would jump up to my  #1.  I agree with you about Union Rags. Even though he is  #6 on my list, he still has loads of talent and he also likes Churchill Downs and has every chance to bring home the roses. A great crop of 3 year olds like you and Jon have stated. Any one of the top 10 could bring home the roses. the payouts should be lucrative with the betting favorite undecided and probably at least 4-1.

    • Joel Cunningham


      I’m counting on El Padrino getting in by the skin of his teeth at the moment. He should at least make the Also Eligibles…we’ll see. I haven’t written him off yet.

      Bodemeister sticks in the Top 5 for me as long as he has a shot to make it…if he’s as good as I think he is then he’ll win the Arkansas Derby and get into the KY Derby. Much of the time these things have a way of working themselves out with the graded earnings…if you don’t get in then you probably don’t belong any way. BUT El Padrino and Mark Valeski are the two exceptions for me this year…but both still aren’t out of it yet…

      Nice Top 10! I obviously think Union Rags out of the Top 5 is bold, but you make some logical points..and you’re absolutely right about the depth of quality in this 3yo crop and how wide-open the Derby should be. Exciting stuff.

      I feel like this is the first crop since 2004 that is deep enough that some nice 3yos who really have a chance to win the Derby could be excluded from the the two colts I mention above. In ’04 I thought at the time of the Derby that it was a shame both Eddington and Rock Hard Ten were excluded from the Derby because both were big, talented colts that had the pedigree to add intrigue at Classic distances (although we obviously know now that nobody was going to beat Smarty Jones on Derby day lol)

  • JR

    Joel, have you noticed how Creative Cause acts when Rosario puts the whip to him.  It seems to me he shy’s away from it, and it looks like he loses concentration briefly. That could be costly in this year’s derby. 

    • Joel Cunningham


      CC’s stretch antics are hard to figure out for me. I think he’s seeing something there at Santa Anita as he comes off the far turn. He always seems to be cocking his head as if he’s looking at the roaring crowd/grandstand. I think something is catching his attention more than the whip, and it’s causing him to float out and lose some focus obviously.

      It will be interesting to see what Harrington does for the Derby…I definitely wouldn’t mind seeing the blinkers go back on.

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